The Unlearning Organisation LO9950

Frank Billot (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 01:26:47 +0200

Replying to LO9919 --


Bravo, I really appreciate your posting which is IMO of very good quality

It makes me feel like trying to go deeper. Discarding the old mental
mental seems to radical to me. One still needs references to build new
ones. And old models, as depository of mistakes are a invaluable source of
informations. So rather than discarding I would propose unsticking, taking
some distance, just enough to be able to reframe what one's was good
enough into a larger picture. Just discarding would be like throwing away
the baby with the dirty water (translation of a french expression)

The solution I guess would be in getting acquainted and learning to
carefully listen to the dissonances, the noises that don't fit with our
mental models. They could be our best friends since they have things to
tell us about our mental models and its limits. And as you mentionned it
quite well IMO, it is even more crucial when the environment changes, and
drifts away from our paradigms.

>1. organizational change can be much faster or much slower than a company
>or industry's rate of product/technology or environmental change
>2. When a mental model ceases to function effectively, learning does not
>follow a linear track where knowledge is just added incrementally to an
>existing store. It is necessary to somehow discard the old mental model
>first (call it unlearning, moving down the ladder of inference,
>unfreezing, or whatever).=20
> I think that the key here is that an incorrect mental model not only
>produces negative results, it also acts as a filter that makes it
>difficult to perceive those negative results.=20
> This is why trying to learn while burdened with an incorrect mental
>model is fundamentally more difficult, and thus arguable different, than
>learning even with no mental model at all. I believe that some of the
>desire to have a term like "unlearning" stems from an understanding
>(explicit or implicit) of this.=20


Frank Billot

L'exp=E9rience, ce n'est pas ce qui arrive =E0 l'individu.
C'est ce que l'individu fait de ce qui lui arrive.=20

Experience is not what happens to an individual.=20
It is what the individual makes of what happens to him.
Aldous Huxley


Frank Billot <>

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